Robin Blowes death: Southend Hospital fined over safety breach

Exterior view Southend University Hospital The death of Robin Blowes followed a similar incident in 2007, when a patient hurt their ankle

Related Stories

A hospital has been fined £15,000 after a confused cancer patient fell to his death from a window.

Robin Blowes, 69, from Blackmore, fell from a third floor window at Southend University Hospital in July 2010.

Southend Crown Court heard Mr Blowes was moved to a side room when he became confused after surgery.

He fell through a window fitted with a single restrictor. The hospital said it had started replacing windows when the accident happened.

The court heard how a security guard had been posted outside Mr Blowes' room to make sure he did not leave the ward.

When the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigated his death, it found the window was fitted with a single angle bracket restrictor.

This, the court was told, had been bent to one side, meaning the window opened fully.

'Entirely preventable'

The hospital was also ordered to pay £15,000 in costs.

An inquest last year heard Mr Blowes had undergone a seven-hour operation to remove his bladder before his death.

The inquest jury recorded a narrative verdict that he was in a "confused and delusional state" when he accidentally fell.

The death of Mr Blowes followed a similar incident in 2007 when a patient fell from a first-floor window injuring their ankle.

After the hearing, Edward Crick, of the HSE, said: "The tragic death of Mr Blowes was entirely preventable.

"Had a suitable window restrictor been provided, as it should have been by the hospital trust, he would not have been able to defeat it and open the window wide enough to fall out."

Jacqueline Totterdell, chief executive at the hospital, said: "The trust sincerely regrets this tragic accident and again we offer our sincere condolences to Mr Blowes' family.

"A full survey has since been undertaken and we can confirm that all windows are now restricted with locked metal wire cable-type restrictors, in addition to others which were already in place.

"We conduct regular inspections of window security to ensure the restrictors are working properly."

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

BBC Essex



28 °C 19 °C

Features & Analysis

  • Stained glass of man with swordFrance 1 England 0

    The most important battle you have probably never heard of

  • Golden retriever10 things

    Dogs get jealous, and nine more nuggets from the week's news

  • Pro-Israel demonstrators shout slogans while protesting in Berlin - 25 July 2014Holocaust guilt

    Gaza conflict leaves Germans confused over who to support

  • The emir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-SabahFreedoms fear

    Growing concern for rights as Kuwait revokes citizenships

Elsewhere on the BBC

  • CastleRoyal real estate

    No longer reserved for kings and queens, some find living in a castle simply divine


  • Leader of Hamas Khaled MeshaalHARDtalk Watch

    BBC exclusive: Hamas leader on the eagerness to end bloodshed in Gaza

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.